United States vs Microsoft

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“United States v. Microsoft was a court case filed against Microsoft

Corporation on May 18, 1998 by the United States Department of Justice

and twenty U.S. states. The plaintiff’s alleged that Microsoft abused

monopoly power in its handling of operating system sales and web

browser sales”. (Wikipedia 1) Basically this means that Microsoft

Corporation was accused of forming a monopoly against all other

software corporations because Microsoft was selling its computers with

Internet Explorer already installed on it. This way customers were

getting a web browser for free almost and therefore. Microsoft sold

more computers. This is known as bundling. Bundling them together is

what gave Microsoft the victory in the so called “browser wars”

because e very Windows user had a version of Internet Explorer

installed on their computer upon purchase. Because of this advantage

it was alleged to be unfair to other web browsers because it unfairly

restricted the competing web browser market.

The trial started in May 1998 with the US Justice Department and the

Attorneys General of twenty US states suing Microsoft for illegally

hindering competition in order to protect and extend its software

monopoly. They were later sued because they were forcing computer

makers to install IE onto the computers they sold. They threatened PC

manufacturers with revoking their license to distribute Windows if

they removed the IE icon from the initial desktop. (WIkipedia)

Videotapes were submitted as evidence during court procedures. Among

these tapes was one that demonstrated that removing IE from Microsoft

Windows caused slowdowns and malfunctions. Viewers noticed that the

tape had been altered because certain desktop icons would be present

in once shot and then not present in another shot. Microsoft later

submitted another tape which turned up to be faulty as well. The

government produced its own tape of downloading other browsers onto

the PC. This process was slow and the icon was not placed on the
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